The Transylvania Times -

School Board Eyes Budget


March 17, 2011

Transylvania County Schools will be asking for at least a 3.5 percent increase in its next budget from the county.

Norris Barger, the school system’s director of business services, told the Board of Education during its recent meeting the requested increase does not include what they may need from the county to help with likely state budget cuts.

For the current school year, commissioners approved a $9,306,383 budget, which was a 6.62 percent increase over the previous year. The budget amount doesn’t include money for building repairs and maintenance.

A 3.5 percent increase would be another $325,514.

“This sounds pretty reasonable,” said Barger. “What this budget represents is a little over a third of what we were getting from the county three years ago in capital outlay.”

The 3.5 percent increase would help offset, among other things, no more stimulus funds and the loss of $42,000 if a change in charter school funding legislation is approved.

If the charter school legislation passes, it will force the school system to share a portion of its Friday night game funding, some grants, etc., with the charter school system.

“This could be a significant amount for no reason other than the (state) legislature wants them to have it,” said Barger. “It’s bizarre.”

The school system is also counting on receiving a grant to make up most of the roughly $891,000 in stimulus funding that will be lost. Barger said state budget cuts were also inevitably going to hurt.

Barger said if Gov. Perdue’s budget is accepted by the House and Senate, it would mean an 8 percent budget cut. He said this, plus a few other items, would be “devastating.”

“An 8 percent budget cut would drop over a million. We’re talking asking for real money then,” said Barger.

At this point, Barger said they are leaving a question mark on the amount of state budget cuts.

“I personally will not be shocked if we end up with a budget cut of 6 or 8 percent,” said Superintendent Jeff McDaris.

Board member Sheila Norman said she had heard that a final state budget should be released by May 15.

Vice-chairman Tawny McCoy said there was no way the school system would not be affected this budget year.

“It is really frightening to see these numbers,” said McCoy.

Barger said they have done a good job the past two years to keep the budget strong and teachers from being fired.

“This is going to be a really tough year, and I hope we can continue to do that,” said Barger. “But we still have a few tricks up our sleeves.”

Good News Report

• Sheila Mooney, Davidson River School counselor, received a scholarship from the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching to attend a week-long seminar entitled Young Black Males in the 21st Century.

Davidson River School has also received a number of azalea plants from a grant entitled Make North Carolina Beautiful. Teachers Assistants Penny Owen and Joanna Randolph took personal time to pick up 50 azalea plants from Raleigh and work with students to plant them.

Davidson River School is sponsoring the Girl’s Circle group. The group, which received grants from the Transylvania County Education Foundation and United Health Heroes, will conduct nutrition programs and healthy activities.

Davidson River School Teacher Joe Russo has received a grant from the Transylvania County School Education Foundation for a sesquicentennial project entitled time capsule, another project on 1861 baseball, and funding for an oral history project.

Davidson River School Taiko group is set to perform at Mars Hill College on March 26 for the North Carolina State Day of Percussion. Students will also be performing at Appalachian State University on April 6 and at the Lake Eden Festival in Black Mountain on May 14.

• Due to studies that show students learn more and behave better after eating breakfast, the North Carolina Division of Public Health, Nutrition Education and Training (NC NET) have been asked to establish a school breakfast promotional kit. NC NET plans to highlight the Transylvania County School’s Universal Breakfast Program.

• David Sutton, human resource director, has been presented with the Marvin Wyne Outstanding Student Paper Award for his doctoral research on superintendent succession. Sutton has also been elected as representative for the kindergarten through 12th grade NCARE board of directors and has been selected as a recipient for the Dixie L. and Miles S. McGinty Scholarship by the College of Education and Allied Professionals at Western Carolina University.

Important Dates

• March 21, school board meeting;

• April 1, no school/teacher workday;

• April 4, school board meeting;

• April 11, kindergarten registration;

• April 18, school board meeting; and

• April 25-29, spring break.


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